Children as young as 5 years old could soon be eligible for the Covid-19 vaccine.
Pfizer says its vaccine is safe and effective for children aged 5-11 and they plan to seek emergency use authorization from the FDA.
Using a smaller dosage, in over 2,200 children during clinical trials, Pfizer said its vaccine produced a robust immune response. And now many more children in the U.S. could soon be eligible to receive the shots.
Holly Brady is not a mother yet. Her baby is due this week, something that has shaped her view of Pfizer’s announcement.
"Having a kid in a week, it’s an exciting piece of news," Brady said.
Brady is not only an expectant mother, but also a teacher and sees value in children being vaccinated.
"It’ll really bring things back to normal for them and for the rest of us," she said.
The announcement comes at a time when pediatric Covid-19 cases are rising. Jody Terranova, the director of the Burgdorf Health Center’s Pediatric Clinic, says since school started, she’s seen more cases.
"We’ve actually had a high number of kids who were testing positive. So, this age group really needs the protection," Terranova explained.
According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, 243,000 child cases were reported nationwide the week of September 9. Terranova said the virus is spreading faster in states with a lower vaccination rate, but Connecticut should take notice.
"It’s still out there in kids. Fortunately, Connecticut is in a good place compared to other places but we’re not out of the woods," she said.
Pfizer is the only vaccine available for 12- to 15-year-olds, and so far, 66% of those eligible in that category here in Connecticut have received their first shot. For 5- to 11-year-olds, Pfizer explains the dosage would be about a third of the adult dosage. They say clinical trials show it is safe and effective. Still, there is mixed reaction.
"I don’t think any of the vaccines are safe. Whether you’re 5 or 105," Donna Roy of Simsbury said.
The Connecticut Department of Health said the news from Pfizer, while it still needs peer review, is a step in the right direction.
"The COVID-19 vaccines authorized in the United States continue to be remarkably effective in reducing risk of severe disease, hospitalization, and death, even against the widely circulating Delta variant. It is critical that unvaccinated and partially vaccinated people get their primary series of vaccines to further reduce the risk of COVID-19 and its more severe outcomes. Nearly all the cases of severe disease, hospitalization, and death continue to occur among those not yet vaccinated at all," DPH officials wrote in a release.
Pfizer said it will submit all of its data to the FDA by the end of the month and could have emergency authorization by Halloween.